Clonakilty's rickshaw project plans to have senior citizens in a spin

August 30th, 2017 11:50 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Newly-weds Áine and Logan Carroll with Tommy O'Donovan pedalling the rickshaw.

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VOLUNTEER cyclists of all ages have already signed up for the Cycling Without Age rickshaw in Clonakilty which was launched this week. 

Clonakilty is the only town outside Dublin to offer the free service to elderly and mobility-impaired people, which aims to bring them back into the community and ‘give them the right to wind in their hair.’

Speaking at the launch, Tommy O’Donovan of Clon Bike Scheme, who has spearheaded the project, said it was a natural progression for them to get involved in Cycling Without Age. 

He also thanked the 14 volunteers who have signed up for the scheme and Clóna Milk for sponsoring the rickshaw which comes with seat belts, rainproof hoods with windows, a removable foot base for easy access and is fitted with a battery pack to manage weight, hills and ramps. ‘This is a free service for the people of Clonakilty but we will always need funds to reimburse its purchase cost and maintain it in tip-top condition and so donations are always welcome,’ said Tommy.

Jack Kelleher, one of the organisers and a volunteer himself said he hopes it will be a success for Clonakilty and that both volunteers and those who use the rickshaw will chat, swap stories and create new relationships. ‘It’s fun and once your are qualified to operate the rickshaw you can bring an elderly person out on it using a booking system on an app,’ said Jack.

Mayor of Clonakilty, John Loughnan said that looking after the elderly is second nature to the people of Clonakilty and he wished the scheme all the success.

Local TD Jim Daly also congratulated the team on this initiative and  said the town ticks all the boxes when it comes to valuing the elderly. 

Following the launch, Minister Daly and Mayor Loughnan were given a trial spin on the rickshaw pedalled by Tommy O’Donovan.

Additional volunteers are needed to operate the service. If interested, contact Tommy O’Donovan or Jack Kelleher on 023-8833250.

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